Administration of Medications to Residents on Hospice

This is one of the most common questions we receive from California RCFE Tuesday Tip subscribers:

“Can a family or unpaid friend of a hospice client actually pour (draw up in a syringe), hospice drugs such as liquid morphine if they are trained by hospice?”


Fortunately Community Care Licensing has provided clarification on this in the RCFE Evaluator Manual, and the answer is yes, with appropriate training it is allowed:

“A relative or friend NOT receiving monetary or any other form of compensation for their services, and is trained by the hospice agency may administer medications through a route, (e.g. oral, sublingual, subcutaneous, etc.) to his/her relative or friend in a residential care facility for the elderly provided it is specified in the hospice care plan; the hospice agency provides a statement for the licensee’s records that the relative or friend has been trained; and there is a plan in place to ensure that the resident can receive the needed medication by a licensed health professional if the relative or friend fails to arrive at the appointed time. Medications may be set up in advance for a period not to exceed 24 hours.”

2 Responses to “Administration of Medications to Residents on Hospice”

  1. Well, I think it’s a good program though. That program is essential for the patients need and they can benefit from it too.

  2. Jackson Hospice: Yes, there are indeed many residents in California RCFEs who are benefitting from this option. It is not a perfect solution to the medication assistance/administration issue, but it helps.

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